The Johnstons are exceptional. They are Adrienne and Luci Johnston, vocals. Mick Moloney and Paul Brady, vocals and guitars. Their vocal blend is one of those unique things that comes once in a generation of vocal groups and their musical taste matches their ability. When I first met them some nine months prior to writing this, they were the most successful group in Ireland with a repertoire consisting ninety per cent of traditional Irish material. They have in the last six months sifted through some 200 contemporary songs, anxious that if they were to turn their talents to contemporary material, it should be of the highest standard. These twelve songs they liked.
They are by Joni Mitchell, Jacques Brel, Leonard Cohen and Ewan MacColl, of writers whose names you will certainly know; and by an American, Stuart Scharf, two young Irishmen, Jon Ledingham and Shay Healy, an American resident in Dublin, Pat Carroll, and an English group. The Strawbs, all of whom you will certainly be hearing about in the future when the better modern song writers are being discussed.
All the songs have in common an intelligence and excellence that raise them far above the pop pulp average. So, too, do the four people singing them.